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Austin's Tesla Gigafactory site on March 30. (Jeff Roberts/YouTube)

Everything's bigger in Texas, and that is doubly so at Tesla's forthcoming Austin Gigafactory.

CEO Elon Musk announced the $1.1 billion manufacturing plant, which is under construction in southeast Travis County and due to open late this year, will hire more than 10,000 people through 2022 in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

Tesla promised to create at least 5,000 jobs, hire Travis County residents for at least half of them and pay a minimum hourly wage of $15 in exchange for tens of millions of dollars in property tax breaks.


Musk quoted a tweet from Tesla Owners Austin, which highlighted job opportunities for people without college degrees and linked to the electric automaker's careers page, where there are nearly 300 job postings for the Austin area. The bulk of these are in manufacturing or otherwise related to the Gigafactory, such as through construction.

When Musk announced last July that Tesla would build its next Gigafactory in Austin, local taxing districts had already promised significant tax breaks to sweeten the deal. But Rohan Patel, senior global director for policy and business development, said Austin's most alluring asset was its workforce during an Austin Chamber event in December. "One of the major reasons we chose this site is because of the availability of talent among all levels," he said.

To support its hiring needs, Tesla is working closely with Del Valle ISD, Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson University, the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Workforce Commission to establish pipelines, according to a recent report from the Austin Business Journal.

The prospect of job creation was alluring for local elected officials in the midst of a pandemic and related economic downturn. Former Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, who voted in favor of a tax incentive deal for Tesla, told Austonia last June that job opportunities for skilled workers without college degrees were critical. "Let's face it: today in America manufacturing is really one of the more difficult areas to bring to your community," he said. "That's a pretty enticing deal for us."

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